Health officials in Costa Rica declared a conjunctivitis outbreak in Puntarenas province on July 2, following a spike in reported cases. More than 1000 cases of the disease, also known as pink eye, were recorded in the municipality, and additional cases are likely to continue to spread in the coming weeks as the virus is highly contagious.
Conjunctivitis is an eye infection where the thin membrane that covers the white of the eye and the interior of the eye lids - the conjunctiva - becomes inflamed. Symptoms include watery eyes and discharge, discomfort, and itchiness. Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacterial or viral infections; the bacterial version is treatable with antibiotics.
Individuals in Costa Rica are advised to minimize contact with others (e.g. avoid handshakes) and to wash hands frequently. Seek medical attention if presenting with any of the above symptoms.